Props: MMA Fighting
"This is a declaration of war against the WWE and UFC. From Asia, we will take the world. Mr. Ishii is completely supporting us. We won't stand a chance in the American market so we will spread to the rest of the world. When K-1 and PRIDE were competing against each other, 80-percent of the martial arts market was in Japan. It is now the opposite and Japan is only 20-percent. We were worried that Japan would be left behind if we let this continue, it is unacceptable. We needed to change our business model. We've let Dana White get a lead on us. Before (Shinya) Aoki beats (Gilbert) Melendez, we must win as promoters."
K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa leads the charge at today's press conference announcing the financial partnership between Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) and Shanghai-based investment bank PUJI Capital. FEG holds DREAM and K-1 under its umbrella and expects great things from a new business model that focuses on a global expansion. Not since the days of PRIDE has mixed martial arts been a formidable presence in Japan. Can the deep pockets of PUJI help FEG recapture that glory? Or has the UFC's international expansion defeated them before they even get started?